Marc Marquez got the better of Maverick Vinales for the first time this season after a thrilling head-to-head between the two in qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas. The reigning champion kept up his perfect pole position record in Texas although he was made to work hard by the current championship leader, edging it by a tenth of a second.
The session got off to a bumpy start for Vinales after he was baulked on his first timed lap, by his team-mate Valentino Rossi of all people. While Maverick was gesticulating at the other factory Yamaha, Marc was busy setting the fastest lap of the weekend with a 2:03.042, opening up an eight tenth lead on the field.
With a clear track for his second run, Vinales was straight back on the pace and looked set to snatch a sensational pole position after clocking a 2:02.871 on his final effort. Crucially though, Marquez hadn’t taken the chequered flag yet and managed to snatch top spot back at the death with a 2:02.741 despite catching Rossi’s Yamaha in the final corner.
Rossi grabbed the final spot on the front row in the process, suggesting his practice problems from the opening two races are a thing of the past, while Dani Pedrosa edged out Johann Zarco’s Tech 3 Yamaha for fourth. Jorge Lorenzo claimed sixth for Ducati despite having to go through Q1, just ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso while Jonas Folger qualified eighth on the second satellite Yamaha.
Cal Crutchlow paid the price for a crash, falling to ninth, while Scott Redding, Andrea Iannone and Jack Miller make up the fourth row.
2017 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas: Qualifying Result
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